What are Progressive Web Apps?
An engaging new user experience has emerged in the form of progressive Web apps (PWAs). Combining the best that both mobile and Web apps have to offer, PWAs can be thought of as websites that look and work in the ways you would expect an app to, well, look and work. More importantly, they can be crawled and indexed by Google, meaning there is an opportunity for them to draw visitors and create a unique user experience.
PWAs have the ability to run both online and offline, and can therefore be accessed and used anywhere, on any device and on any browser. All users are going to reach the same version of the app. These apps can be installed directly to the user’s home screen and do not have to be downloaded from an app store. With the ease of today’s PWAs and all that they have to offer though, marketers may need to re-evaluate and rethink how they market their brands (e.g., think of a progressive Web app for an industry conference where Internet connectivity may be bogged down and limited or a news publication sending offline push notifications to subscribers who have expressed interest in certain stories).
PWAs already have and will continue to have an impact on how search marketing can most successfully be done in order to best reach the targeted consumer.
Why Should Consumers Be Excited About PWAs?
Searchers Want the Ability to Interact with What They Find
With advanced, interactive apps such as Google Docs and Notes being used by so many, Internet users now expect different things when they head over to their search engine of choice. Once a user has created a Google Doc or typed out a Note, either can be easily shared to another person or to a group of people. They can also be saved to go back to and review at a later time. Even more advanced than an interactive app like Google Docs or Notes are the PWAs that are emerging. Because of what PWAs now allow users to do, many of these users expect to be able to do the same things within other online channels as well.
With PWAs, instead of having to perform multiple searches, users can collect the media of their choice all in one place. Flipboard is a great example (see more examples here) of how a PWA can allow users to ditch the search engine ways of their past and have more interaction and engagement with the information provided them. In Flipboard, content from social media networks, news outlets, and blogs is collected and displayed to appear and read like a magazine. The user can pick and choose from the content available to create their own “magazine” of information they wish to read. Rather than searching multiple times for bits and pieces of information, with this PWA users can have all the information gathered in one place and interact with it to make it their own collection. Will this kill search marketing? Not likely, but there definitely will be some opportunities for progressive companies to leverage PWAs as part of their marketing mix.